The traps are a very big muscle. Most people mistake the traps as just being the muscles that are perched atop of the shoulder and run into the neck. That’s not so; in fact, the trap extend all of the way down the middle of the back into the base of the spine.
However, the traps are certainly most visible and ‘impressive’ when you are fully clothed from the front, where they appear on the shoulders. So, in this article, we are going to look at how you can go about building this muscle, which will really give you the look of powerful shoulders.
Now, before I go any further, I want to warn you of something. For years, the best exercise to build the traps was thought to be upright rows. And, I can’t deny it – they were. So why shouldn’t you perform this exercise? Well, because it’s been shown that upright rows performed in the traditional way (close grip, bringing to the chin – thus hitting the traps) was in fact grinding away at the rotor cuff, and has caused severe damage in countless unfortunate bodybuilders. So, swerve this exercise.
The next best thing is undoubtedly the humble shoulder shrug.
Standing with your feet slightly apart, and a dumbbell in each hand by your side with the palms facing inward, keep your elbows perfectly straight so you aren’t tempted to lift with the aid from the biceps – and shrug your shoulders, as if you would when saying: ‘I don’t know.’
I guarantee you; you’ll find it difficult and very tempting to use the biceps in the beginning. But by consciously telling yourself not to, you’ll soon be performing it in perfect form without a second thought. This movement, like all good bodybuilding exercises, should be performed slow and fluidly – with a nice squeeze at the top to really work the traps.